Making Risk-Taking Real
During the Covid-19 pandemic, a private zoo in Brussels closed its doors to the public for a time. A family of orangutans, accustomed to throngs of admiring humans, lapsed into serious depression. Their behavior grew more worrisome by the day, The quandary of how to save a species from permanent disability, the longer the zoo remained closed, brought on serious discussions. Finally, staff made an opening in the fence of the adjoining enclosure, inspiring a dozen river otters to swim into the primates’ living area. After initial wariness of their neighbors, the orang became happy show-offs again, and the otters were a fascinated audience that returned every day. Quite quickly, other zoos successfully tried coupling the two species.
I checked out some videos (see “orangutans and river otters are BFFs —YouTube”) which fortified my simple conclusion: It’s impossible to know what’s possible until you open your mind about everything.